When you think about it, it’s obvious that for you to realise your potential you need to look after yourself first. This can sound selfish. And it is. However, looking at this from the point of view that you need to be at your best to be the best dad, wife, team leader, friend, sports player, writer, you get the idea, you need the right foundation. We recommend the PRIME model.
Physical: this covers exercise, stretching, how we breathe and posture. We recommend a minimum of three 30 minute exercise sessions a week. And if you’re thinking I’ve not got time to work on posture, we love Michael Heppell’s suggestion from Flip it of adjusting your car rearview mirror to force yourself to sit a little straighter when driving.
Rest: this one is hopefully obvious. Allowing our bodies to recover properly is so important but for many, often overlooked. This isn’t just about sleeping but the quality of your sleep and downtime. High quality rest is very personal. Developing your own routine is worth the investment.
Intake: this one applies to the food we eat and fluids we drink. We are not advocates that you run your life as a monk. Far from it. What we do recommend is balance! Some basics to get you started:
- Manage your caffeine and alcohol intake. We definitely recommend thinking hard about the need for caffeine in the later part of the day. And hopefully it’s obvious that alcohol in excess isn’t great for your performance – either physically or mentally.
- Hydrate. Keep on top of your water intake. If you’re feeling thirsty chances are you are already suffering from dehydration. The UK NHS recommend women drink a minimum of 1.6 litres and men 2 litres of water a day. There’s mixed opinion about tea and coffee counting towards your quota. Our view is that it doesn’t count. Caffeine is a diuretic (albeit a mild one) and therefore can make you urinate more frequently. Either way the water on it’s own will help flush toxins out your system. If you’re addicted to tea try a herbal variety such as mint or we personally love Redbush.
- Food. Getting a decent balance to your diet will pay so many dividends. Not just for your waistline. If food is fuel for your body then you might as well fuel yourself with good stuff. So learn some basics to improve your food intake. Here’s one to start you off ‘fresh is best’. Weigh yourself regularly to make sure you are staying on track.
Mind: Looking after your mind is your responsibility! So often the effect of stress is as a result of not having the right coping strategies to deal with what life throws at you. With 1 in 4 in the UK suffering with mental health issues it really is vital that you adopt a proactive approach. Allowing yourself the time to settle your mind down is an important part of the priming for success. This is a big subject and worth the investment to find out what positive steps you can take to support yourself.
Energy: Raising our awareness of how we use our energy provides a useful way to think about the tasks we do and the people we interact with. This can be as simple as understanding when we have high and low energy in a 24hr period. Organising our work (in its broadest since) with this understanding means we give ourselves the best chance to align energy with the effort required to take on and complete things. When it comes to people you’ll find some people can enhance your energy level and some will literally sap it out of you. Accepting it can be unrealistic to completely avoid the sappers you might want to think carefully about when and how you interact with them.